How Magnus Lygdback Transformed Alexander Skarsgard for ‘The Northman’

Throughout the technique of serving to Alexander Skarsgård transform his physique for The Legend of Tarzan, superstar coach Magnus Lygdback and the actor established a friendship and bond that’s nonetheless sturdy to today. Throughout the close to year-long dedication of the movie, Skarsgård knowledgeable Lygdback about an concept he had for a challenge that centered round Vikings. The guy Swede might see the fervour in his good friend’s eyes when discussing the main points and he made it identified that if the challenge was ever to be delivered to fruition, he would you should definitely get a name.

With two very completely different and busy schedules, the pair would catch up every time Skarsgård can be in Los Angeles. The decision lastly got here someday in the course of 2019. The challenge was The Northman. Directed by Robert Eggers, the movie facilities round a younger Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father’s demise.

Having already had the expertise from Tarzan to drag from, Lygdback already knew how nice of a piece ethic Skarsgård had and the way he would reply to the dietary and bodily coaching. They already had concepts on what they wished the character to seem like once they started working that December.

We spoke with Lygdback in regards to the course of of remodeling Skarsgård into Amlet for The Northman in addition to how he helps push shoppers like Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Alicia Vikander, and others to succeed in their bodily greatest. You may as well comply with the identical applications as his star clientele at – powered by Playbook.

Coach/nutritionist Magnus Lygdback and actor Alexander Skarsgard on the set of Robert Eggers Viking epik, The Northman, a Focus Options launch. Aidan Monaghan/Focus Options LLC

Magnus Lygdback Screens and Measures

I’m not an enormous fan of bulking an excessive amount of, despite the fact that I name it the bulking or buildup cycle. We had an enormous buildup cycle, wherein I made certain he was on a calorie surplus day-after-day in order that he wasn’t shedding physique fats as a result of he’s usually lean. You’ll be able to at all times fake to know what number of energy somebody ought to eat, however everyone knows that’s extremely particular person and relying on what you do in a day, it adjustments. I like to observe my actors, and I monitored him by measuring his fats each week — simply ensuring he wasn’t too lean within the buildup part and likewise ensuring he didn’t acquire an excessive amount of physique fats. We sort of constructed up all the way in which till we put him on a food regimen, and he was on that food regimen for 3 weeks. Usually, I need six weeks with somebody, however I knew his physique so effectively from Tarzan. I had previous notes and I knew how you can prepare him. That’s the fantastic thing about working with somebody multiple time.

Construct Mass and Get Thick

Truthfully, the man is getting older, and we knew he was doing quite a lot of his personal stunts and transferring round. The important thing a part of his physique have been his shoulders. We would have liked to guarantee that we prepped his shoulders for all of the combating, swinging a sword and an ax. We made certain to do some additional accent work on the shoulders. Apart from that, it was about constructing mass and getting thick.

We did quite a lot of energy coaching and completely different varieties of coaching. The energy coaching was a four-day cut up, and I at all times scheduled seven days per week with my actors. We by no means find yourself doing seven and we take a break when we have to. Anyplace from 5 to 6 days per week, we might do energy coaching. Legs on Day 1, chest and front-side shoulders on Day 2. Again, back-side shoulders, and out of doors shoulders on Day 3. Arms on Day 4. On every day, I at all times do high-intensity cardio or common cardio and core. The best way I method core coaching is I do it day-after-day, however I make sure that to work completely different elements of the core as a part of the splits.

I’m an enormous fan of the high-protein breakfast — usually eggs in any type. For him, it might be 4 to 5 eggs. Throughout the three-week interval, he didn’t get any carbs with breakfast. We did a protein-based snack after breakfast. Lunch would encompass a protein, sluggish carbs, good fat, and greens. After that, one other high-protein snack. Dinner would encompass protein, carbs, good fat, greens, and fiber.

Alexander Skarsgard training for ‘The Northman’ by performing a kettlebell workout
Actor Alexander Skarsgard in coaching on the set of Robert Eggers Viking Epic, The Northman a spotlight options launch. Aidan Monaghan/Focus Options LLC

Prepping Throughout the Pandemic

I must say I lucked up huge time. I didn’t really feel fortunate on the time, however we have been fortunate as a result of the pandemic hit. I began with him in December and began touring to Vancouver the place he was filming The Stand, and I began constructing him up, after which we traveled to Northern Eire. I obtained him in actually fine condition, after which the pandemic hit. We have been two days out from filming, and we needed to shut store. He flew again to Sweden, and I flew again to LA. All the gyms have been closed, and he was remoted on some island together with his household.

He did some body weight exercises, however he misplaced quite a lot of his features. We began again up in June and it grew to become like a pure coaching cycle. We began filming in September. It turned out actually nice as a result of he was in even higher form than in March. It’s laborious to say how a lot time we needed to prep as a result of it was two coaching cycles. In Tarzan, he was extra slim and agile and this time he gained about 20 kilos as a result of we wished a thicker and extra imposing look. In hindsight, I’m pleased we obtained that point since you’ve seen the trailer.

Pushing Shoppers to New Limits

It’s quite a lot of psychology clearly. I at all times say you must work out what sort of mind you’ve got in entrance of you, what makes them tick and the way do you push them the appropriate manner and never the unsuitable manner — how do you talk with them. It’s all about constructing a personality. Even with having fundamentals, that stays the identical. I’ve my go to programming. Relying on the place you begin, what we wish you to seem like, and what we need to combine into the character, it’s sports-specific stuff or skill-based stuff. Should you take a look at my programming, I’m fairly open with it. Power-wise, it’s quite a lot of the identical stuff. I’m not one who’s making an attempt to reinvent the wheel and give you new fancy workouts. I consider in sticking to a routine, the basics, and getting actually good at that.

Have a Plan

So long as you’ve got a plan, you could be affected person. You’ll be able to’t rush issues. You need to construct a powerful basis with anybody you’re employed with as a result of if we don’t undergo the basics, you don’t transfer the appropriate manner, you’re going to get injured alongside the way in which as a result of that’s how excessive it’s to push the physique that arduous for the quick time that now we have. You want to be affected person, take the appropriate steps, begin with the fundamentals and construct on that basis. Earlier than I say sure to a challenge, I attempt to do analysis on who I’m working with and I at all times have a dialog with them earlier than I say sure. I do need to know who I’m working with and see if it’s somebody who desires me as a result of I’ve finished a very good job prior to now. If that’s the case, I’m not going to say sure to that as a result of each single job, I must know that they perceive they usually’re keen to place within the work. That goes on my resume as effectively. If I don’t do a very good job, then I’m not going to get my subsequent gig. It’s additionally not rewarding both to spend a 12 months — six months prepping somebody, and 6 months filming they usually actually don’t put within the work.

Observe Magnus Lygdback on Instagram @magnuslygdback

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